Periodic updates on community resilience work at RAND | Web version

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June 2015

Focus on
Community Resilience

Dear Colleagues,

It has been a little while since we shared new insights, resources and tools. In the past year, the resilience agenda has taken off, with exciting new initiatives globally, nationally, and locally to build and measure resilience and to share lessons learned about resilience implementation. We have observed exciting convergence between those who focus on the health, economic, and social consequences of disaster and those who consider the best ways to strengthen our infrastructure to create healthier and more adaptable communities.

At RAND, we have continued our analyses of what works as well as our development of tools to help in your local and regional planning. This newsletter includes links to those new products, and highlights products on the way.

Anita Chandra

Anita Chandra

Director, RAND Justice, Infrastructure, and Environment

Joie Acosta

Joie Acosta

Behavioral Scientist

Featured Research

The Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience Project

The Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience Project

We are excited to conclude the demonstration phase of the Los Angeles County Community Disaster Resilience (LACCDR) project. This was the first large-scale demonstration project to assess community resilience in the United States. The LACCDR project was designed as a collaborative effort to promote community resilience in the face of emergencies, such as pandemics and disasters. Over the last four years, we have learned how communities communicate the need for resilience planning, how they develop and implement resilience work plans, and how resilience principles integrate into the usual business of communities. We even developed a community resilience tabletop exercise!

For more information about LACCDR, please check out You will find information about the project, including timeline and coalition information, journal articles, and project tools.

Below you will find more information about two of these tools.

Los Angeles Sahana Community Resilience Mapping Tool

Los Angeles Sahana Community Resilience Mapping Tool

In 2013, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health deployed Sahana Eden as a Community Resilience Mapping Tool. Sahana Eden was used to provide communities with an interface that would allow them to visualize and understand their community's resilience. They are able to combine hazard data, such as earthquake ShakeMaps from the US Geological Survey, US Census data, as well as information they upload about their own communities.

Learn More »

Resilience Builder

LACCDR also developed a toolkit for building resilience in communities. Resilience Builder is presented in six sections and offers strategies to increase resilience. We hope your community will be able to use the toolkit to identify community needs to guide resilience work plans, evaluate progress, and support the development of resilience over the long-term.

Download the Toolkit (PDF) »

Tools and Resources

Learn and Tell Toolkit

Learn and Tell Toolkit

“What is Community Resilience?” For many people, this is not an easy question to answer and it is one of the main reasons for the development of the Learn and Tell Toolkit. The Learn and Tell Toolkit is intended to teach people about community resilience so that they can then educate others about resilience and resilience building. It uses a train-the-trainer approach. The LEARN section of the toolkit educates community members or organizations about basic community resilience concepts by providing definitions, stories, and additional resources. The TELL section provides tips, talking points, games, and exercises about resilience to help users teach others about resilience. In addition to community members, organizations can use this toolkit to communicate with their staff and service populations about resilience.

Download the Toolkit »

The Hungrier Games: Disaster Resilience Skills for Youth

The Hungrier Games: Disaster Resilience Skills for Yout

If empowered to act, youth can build community resilience to disasters through tangible tasks such as distributing food and other supplies, as well as specific activities (e.g., connecting with neighbors) for which youth may be uniquely positioned. The Hungrier Games was developed to provide users with some options for empowering high school youth (ages 14–18) to build resilience. This guide to training youth features an introduction to the key principles of community resilience presented through youth-friendly talking points and the use of a scavenger hunt game. Adults who work with or supervise high school youth may be particularly interested in this guide. For example, youth-serving organizations, which are working on community service or community development projects and activities related to emergency preparedness, may employ the guide. The activities in this guide are scalable to any group size and can be tailored based on the amount of time available (e.g., from several days of activities to an hour of activities).

Download the Toolkit »

Water and Climate Resilience Center

Hoover Dam Water Electricity Power Station USA


RAND has established the RAND Water and Climate Resilience Center, or WCRC, to address one of the most significant policy challenges of our time: changing how we plan, build, and organize our societal systems to become more resilient to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. This growing need is particularly relevant for water resources management, an area that includes freshwater supply, water quality assurance, flood risk management, and coastal planning. Water is a key area of concern when considering climate impacts, and one in which these impacts are already being felt from warming in recent decades.

Visit the WCRC Website »

Ongoing Research

Examining How Local Public Health Departments Can Leverage Age-Friendly Cities Initiatives to Build Resilience for Seniors

Hands on walking cane, photo by Ingo Bartussek/Fotolia

Ingo Bartussek/Fotolia

Critical gaps remain in addressing the needs of the rapidly growing US population of older adults (age 60+). However, Age Friendly Initiatives (AFIs), including Senior Villages (SV) represent a promising strategy for U.S. communities and cities to support older adults aging in place and potentially build community resilience. This mixed methods study will provide insight into where current AFIs and community resilience efforts align, how AFIs and SVs are working with local health departments, and what the impact of AFIs/SVs has been on resilience outcomes of seniors (e.g., social connectedness, attention to health needs, disaster preparedness). Based on the study findings, a toolkit will be developed to help local health departments identify the need for AFIs, evaluate and monitor AFIs ability to improve resilience, and develop effective and efficient partnerships with AFIs across the U.S to build community resilience.

Understanding the Role of Social Participation in Disaster Response and Recovery Across China and the United States

Pyramid of paper people

Les Cunliffe/Fotolia

In this project, RAND is working with the Chinese Academy of Science and Technology for Development (CASTED) to explore the role of “social participation” (or the role of voluntary associations, philanthropic organizations such as foundations and donor organizations, advocacy groups, and community groups) in China and the United States in disaster response and recovery. Research findings will be published soon along with the ENGAGED tool, to help assist nongovernmental organizations in their planning and coordination.

Examining the Relationship Between Public Health Departments and the Nongovernmental Sector to Support Effective Recovery

Helping hands


Hurricane Sandy highlighted the invaluable role of community-based organizations (CBO) in disaster resilience and recovery, yet evidence-based assessment of collaboration models that help local public health departments improve their partnerships with these entities to support more effective recovery are lacking. The study is assessing how CBO disaster partnership networks are impacted by Hurricane Sandy, conducting quality improvement to strengthen Department of Health-CBO partnerships, and developing a Partnerships for Recovery Across The Sectors (PRACTIS) toolkit that local health departments (LHD) can use to assess and conduct quality improvement of their LHD-CBO recovery partnerships.

Resilience in Action

Access community resilience training and RAND reports on resilience at

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